The Java EE 5 Tutorial

Using XMLStreamReader

The XMLStreamReader interface in the StAX cursor API lets you read XML streams or documents in a forward direction only, one item in the infoset at a time. The following methods are available for pulling data from the stream or skipping unwanted events:

Instances of XMLStreamReader have at any one time a single current event on which its methods operate. When you create an instance of XMLStreamReader on a stream, the initial current event is the START_DOCUMENT state. The method can then be used to step to the next event in the stream.

Reading Properties, Attributes, and Namespaces

The method loads the properties of the next event in the stream. You can then access those properties by calling the XMLStreamReader.getLocalName and XMLStreamReader.getText methods.

When the XMLStreamReader cursor is over a StartElement event, it reads the name and any attributes for the event, including the namespace. All attributes for an event can be accessed using an index value, and can also be looked up by namespace URI and local name. Note, however, that only the namespaces declared on the current StartEvent are available; previously declared namespaces are not maintained, and redeclared namespaces are not removed.

XMLStreamReader Methods

XMLStreamReader provides the following methods for retrieving information about namespaces and attributes:

int getAttributeCount();
String getAttributeNamespace(int index);
String getAttributeLocalName(int index);
String getAttributePrefix(int index);
String getAttributeType(int index);
String getAttributeValue(int index);
String getAttributeValue(String namespaceUri, String localName);
boolean isAttributeSpecified(int index);

Namespaces can also be accessed using three additional methods:

int getNamespaceCount();
String getNamespacePrefix(int index);
String getNamespaceURI(int index);

Instantiating an XMLStreamReader

This example, taken from the StAX specification, shows how to instantiate an input factory, create a reader, and iterate over the elements of an XML stream:

XMLInputFactory f = XMLInputFactory.newInstance();
XMLStreamReader r = f.createXMLStreamReader( ... );
while(r.hasNext()) {;